Monday, November 5, 2012

Review- CROSSED VOL. 4

CROSSED VOL. 4 (Avatar, 2012; Hardcover)

Collects Crossed: Badlands Nos. 1-9 (cover dates February- June, 2012)

Writers: Garth Ennis (1-3) and Jamie Delano (4-9)

Artists: Jacen Burrows (1-3) and Leandro Rizzo (4-9)

Crossed: Badlands is the new bi-weekly ongoing series. Judging by the first two story arcs collected here in this handsome hardcover, each arc will feature a different cast of characters. What exactly are the Crossed, anyways? Still no answers six collected editions in (five if you don't count Crossed 3D OGN), and part of me hopes that we never find out the whys of it all. 

Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows, the creative powerhouse team behind the original mini-series four years ago, return for the opening arc, Badlands. In it, a self-absorbed bookstore employee reveals what a prick he is. His survival is the most important thing in the world, everyone else be damned. Unlike many of the characters in these stories, you root for him to get killed.

In the second arc, Homo Superior, we are treated to a white supremacist, meth manufacturing militia compound that has done a tremendous job of making their own redneck paradise. Drugs, alcohol, inbred sex, Meth-heads, racists who enjoy Rap music's all there. The other characters are a neglectful father who gets a release from the drudgery of domestic life because the Crossed killed his family, some nutjob ex-military chick, and a couple of jailbait twins. Their fates are all intertwined. The moral of the story is if something like this ever happened in real life, don't hook up with strangers. 

There is no escape, no hope, no salvation, only gore fueled mayhem. There is no line of decency that the creators will not cross, no taboo off limits. Past and current themes have include incest, rape, bestiality, and child murders. I always feel ashamed of myself for enjoying this sick ass shit, and try to shower immediately after reading it to cleanse myself from this putrid filth. I can't wait for the next book to be released. 
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Why do the signed limited edition version hardcover and the trade paperback, both released simultaneously with these “standard consumer edition” hardcovers, always have better covers? It never fails. Avatar Press hates me. Also, the volume number on the spine is very small. I think that this has caused me to develop a rash.

Paper rating: 4 out of 5. The coated paper stock seems a little thin. Nothing major.

Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5. This has sewn binding, but the casing is glued square to the spine. It makes it hard for the book to lay flat as god intended. Fortunately it is not too thick, so it lays flat most of the time.

Hardback cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick waxing coating on the image which is printed on the hardback itself. No dustjacket. It is highly durable and should help to provide a lifetime of reading enjoyment.

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